Central Australia Health Service specialities and rotations

Anaesthetic positions in CAHS


Alice Springs Hospital is fully accredited by The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) for vocational training in Anaesthetics until 2021.

Training

Training positions offer a range of experience that is diverse and challenging, providing uncommon exposure to specialised surgical conditions and the culture of Aboriginal peoples.

Because of its isolated location, the hospital manages a vast range of general surgical and orthopaedic trauma, including neurosurgical and vascular surgical emergencies.

  • Approximately 8,000 cases are undertaken annually in six operating theatres, with paediatric cases making up around 15 per cent of the case load through ENT, Dental and General Surgery.
  • Elective surgery encompasses all general specialties, including General Surgery, Orthopaedics, Dental, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Gastroenterology, ENT and Ophthalmology.
  • Visiting Medical Specialists support Elective Vascular Surgery, Urology and Plastic Surgery as well Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Anaesthetic services also are provided to Radiology for CT and MRI.
  • The hospital has a ten-bed Intensive Care Unit which is currently undergoing an expansion with three full-time intensivists.
  • The hospital has the largest single-standing dialysis unit in the southern hemisphere with more than 400 patients on dialysis.
  • Vascular access for haemodialysis is managed by the general surgical team. Vascular access issues are dealt with by the renal physicians (Angiographically) and visiting vascular surgeons.
  • Obstetric Anaesthetics makes up a fair percentage of the hospital’s work with many patients presenting with rheumatic valvular heart disease.

Training in Acute Pain Management is provided through the pain service, along with a chronic pain service, and interested trainees can be given necessary training in this field.

The department has links with the Retrieval Service and Intensive Care Unit and can facilitate training and clinical exposure to these areas for suitably experienced doctors.

Trainees are well supervised and have ample opportunities for varied hands-on experience. Ultrasound is widely used for regional anaesthetics, as well as vascular access and consultants are keen to teach trainees this skill.

Anaesthetics Registrars

The facility remains an optional post for trainees on the South Australian / Northern Territory Rotational Anaesthesia Training Scheme (SANTRATS).

It is also a training site for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) advanced rural skills post training to GP Anaesthetists (JCCA), with 10 GP Anaesthetists already trained.

Additionally, one Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (FACEM) registrar rotates from the emergency department every six months.

The department can directly appoint senior registrars and provisional fellows who fulfil the required criteria.

Weekly Anaesthetic teaching sessions take place as well as in-theatre informal teaching, and trainees are well supervised with Anaesthetic consultants on call and readily available.

Anaesthetics Residents

There are Anaesthetic RMO positions, which are for three-month terms, where residents are closely supervised and supported in theatre, being paired with a consultant or senior registrar.

The Anaesthetic Department is affiliated with Flinders University and the Northern Territory Medical Program for medical students’ training.

Contact

For further information email Dr Jacob Koshy, Director of Anaesthetics, Alice Springs Hospital at MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.


Emergency medicine positions in CAHS


The Emergency Department at the Alice Springs Hospital is extremely busy with more than 41,000 presentations annually, of which more than 20 per cent are children.

The medicine is incredibly diverse with a prevalence of rheumatic heart disease, bronchiectasis, chronic liver disease, renal disease, and diabetes in a young population with a median age of 34.

There are high incidents of trauma, with motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), truncal and thigh stabbings, and blunt trauma from assault. Aboriginal Australians account for more than 62 per cent of attendances with the admission rate of 42 per cent reflecting the high acuity of presentations, including overwhelming sepsis.

The medical workforce consists of interns, Resident Medical Officer (RMOs) and Senior Resident Medical Officer (SRMOs), Registrars and Emergency Department Consultants, and rotating medical students. Registrars are predominantly Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM) trainees, with a number of General Practitioner/Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) trainees, many of whom undertake the Emergency Medicine Certificate or Diploma.

Specialist staff provide a supportive, enthusiastic, educational and safe working environment, and are rostered on the floor from 0730-2400 and on-call overnight.

ED Interns and Residents

Interns and residents in emergency medicine undertake a variety of day, evening and night shifts and are given three hours of consultant-led protected teaching on Wednesday afternoons. Rotations in emergency can be arranged through Medical Administration as part of a mixed rotation year.

ED SRMOs

SRMOs are employed on a specific rotation and need to be at least PGY3 with a minimum of three months previous Emergency Department experience.

There are four 10-hour shifts per week, supervised directly by the specialist or the night registrar during the evening. SRMOs who are not in ACEM training are encouraged to complete the Emergency Medicine Certificate as a six-month undertaking.

ED Registrars

The Emergency Department is accredited for 18 months adult emergency medicine training plus the paediatric log book. Accredited rotations are offered in intensive care, anaesthetics, medicine, paediatrics and retrieval. Additionally there are Rural and Remote Special Skills terms of three to six months for advanced trainees based in Tennant Creek Hospital.

There are four hours of protected registrar teaching each week and support is given to the primary and fellowship exams, including exam training assistance, which have a good success rate.

Quality assurance shifts for skills development are provided, along with support for Work Based Assessments (WBAs) and roster supervised ‘in-charge consultant’ shifts.

Applications are accepted for the whole year, or rotations for three or six months before returning to the applicant’s base hospital on arrangement with their Director in Emergency Medicine Training (DEMT) or Director.

The Emergency Department is a great place for a six-month non-tertiary placement, gaining experience prior to undertaking voluntary service overseas, or for broadening experience in emergency medicine or Aboriginal health.

Contact

For further information on emergency resident positions contact Medical Administration by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.

For further information on Emergency SRMO positions and Registrar positions please contact Dr Anna Fairbairn, Emergency Staff Specialist by emailing  MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au


Intensive care positions in CAHS


Alice Springs Hospital is home to a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit treating more than 600 patients per year, and is approved for six months of accredited training by all colleges.

Seventy per cent of the patients are Aboriginal with complex undifferentiated pathology, including a high rate of infection, renal disease, diabetes, rheumatic and ischaemic heart disease, bronchiectasis, and alcohol misuse. Ninety per cent of admissions are emergent with little post-operative elective work.

With the complex emergency undifferentiated medical case load it is a great learning environment for medical trainees in emergency and intensive care.

As there are few specialist services in the hospital it allows trainees to develop problem solving skills, aided by telephone assistance from specialists, and exposure to a greater number of technical skills than would normally only be covered in larger hospital intensive cares.

Training and positions

The small unit of four consultant staff allows a strong training relationship to be developed between trainee and consultant, and trainees with minimal prior experience in intensive care are offered six-month terms, with three to six-month terms for those with more experience.

A three-month rotation as a PGY2/3 RMO forms part of the two-year critical care JMO stream, which is planned to commence in 2021.

Contact

You can contact Dr Penny Stewart or Dr Paul Secombe by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au for further information.


Medicine positions in CAHS


The Department of Medicine at Alice Springs Hospital accommodates in-patient admission units of General Medicine, Renal Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a ten-bed Intensive Care Unit with Intensivist staff.

Onsite consult specialties include Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory, Infectious Diseases, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Palliative Care, Alcohol and Other Drugs.

Visiting Medical Specialities include Haematology, Oncology, Dermatology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Sleep Medicine.

General Medicine Unit

General Medicine in Alice Springs is an exciting area in which to work – true, acute General Medicine with few sub-specialty admission units, it is an ‘all comers’ unit.

Almost 84 per cent of patients admitted are Aboriginal, many from very remote parts of Central Australia. Patients often have limited English and differing health beliefs, so working in such a cross-cultural context is both rewarding and challenging.

Alice Springs Hospital is also a referral hospital for the smaller Tennant Creek Hospital, 500 kilometres to the north.

Patients referred from remote Aboriginal communities when their care needs exceed those of the primary and public health care centre also are admitted following retrieval by The Royal Flying Doctor Service. The hospital has strong links to hospitals in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin.

The General Medical workforce includes Consultant Physicians, many with dual training and a sub-specialty interest. The registrar workforce is a combination of locally employed registrars (a mix of BPTs and ATs) and rotating Basic Physician Trainees from Royal Adelaide Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre and Lyell McEwan, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (Sydney) and Barwon Health (Victoria).

There is an extensive education program incorporated into the Department of Medicine, including whole-of-department sessions, and sessions directed at junior staff. Registrars are involved in all aspects of teaching and there is also a strong focus on research, with trainees encouraged to partake in research – either smaller scale projects, or by becoming involved in one of the larger ongoing projects.

The hospital has research affiliations with Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, which has an onsite facility, and the Menzies School of Health Research. Flinders University has a campus situated in the hospital site as part of their Northern Territory Medical Program.

Basic Physician Training

The hospital is a Level 1* accredited teaching hospital, where 12 of 36 months of basic physician training can be completed and BPT positions are available to trainees PGY2 and above.

Trainees have access to the experience of General Medicine as well as rotations with sub-specialty focus: Nephrology, Alcohol and other Drugs, Intensive Care, Geriatrics, Rehabilitation Medicine, and Oncology.

You can contact Dr Simon Quilty, Director Physician Training (BPT) by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.

*The hospital is in the process of gaining accreditation as a Level 2 teaching hospital – allowing 24 months of Basic Physician Training to be completed – please contact for further updates.

Advanced Physician Training

Within the Department of Medicine there a number of positions available to Advanced Trainees:

  • General Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Infectious Diseases (secondment from Barwon Health)
  • Palliative care (accredited for the six month RACP Diploma in Palliative Care)
  • Intensive Care
  • Alcohol and other Drugs

All positions are accredited for General and Acute Care medicine and are open to trainees in other specialties looking for experience in Aboriginal and Remote medicine. Most trainee positions have the opportunity to be involved in outreach services and health centres that service some of the most remote communities in Australia.

There are two accredited Nephrology training positions. The Cardiology, Endocrinology and Palliative Care positions are undergoing assessment for approval to become accredited sub-specialty positions.

In addition to core General Medicine, the following accredited General and Acute Care Medicine rotations are available:

  • Group A rotations – ICU, Acute General Medicine
  • Group B rotations – General Medicine, Nephrology
  • Group C rotations – Endocrinology, Cardiology, Infectious Diseases, Palliative care, Alcohol and other Drugs

Trainees are encouraged to design a one or two-year training program, allowing them to experience different areas of medicine within Central Australia.

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The hospital currently has a Cardiology Registrar position that is accredited for General Medicine and is in the process of being accredited for Cardiology advanced training.  This is a popular and sought-after term, and General Medicine trainees should apply early.

Cardiology is a growing department with a strong focus on non-interventional cardiology. The high burden of cardiovascular disease and rheumatic heart disease remains an attraction for those interested in making a difference in the Territory, and obtaining significant exposure to echocardiography and valvular heart disease.

There are two resident Cardiologists at the hospital, with additional visiting specialists from Adelaide and Melbourne. There is a strong working relationship with Cardiology services at Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre (South Australia) who provide Alice Springs Hospital with angiogram and revascularisation services, specialist visits (including specialist electrophysiology) and Cardiac Surgery.

Cardiology services include a fulltime Transthoracic Echocardiographic Service and Transoesophageal echocardiography. Functional testing in the form of Exercise Stress ECG, Stress/Pharmacologic Echocardiogram and CT Coronary Angiography and Cardiac MRI are available. The Cardiology Registrar is actively involved in the provision of all services as well as Cardiology Outpatient clinics.

With the high prevalence of Rheumatic Heart Disease in Central Australia this is an excellent opportunity to gain extensive echocardiogram experience, and Cardiology Registrars are strongly encouraged to partake in echocardiogram training and service provision.

There is also an outreach service, which consists of a cardiologist, a registrar, an echocardiogram technician, and a cardiac nurse educator. This service regularly visits remote Aboriginal communities to provide clinical and echocardiography services, allowing trainees to partake in a unique experience.

There are opportunities to be involved in research conducted through the hospital, and trainees are encouraged to initiate smaller projects or become involved in larger ongoing projects already running.

You can contact Dr Simon Quilty, Director of Physician Training, by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.

The hospital has one non-accredited Endocrinology Registrar position, generally filled by Advanced Trainees in General and Acute Care Medicine. Approval for Accredited Advanced Training positions in Endocrinology is pending.

The expanding Endocrinology and Diabetes team will consist of two endocrinologists from 2021, complemented by two Diabetes Nurse Educators. Hospital work involves outpatient clinics (both diabetes and endocrinology), and ward consults of complex patients, with the registrar working closely with the diabetes educators.

There is also the option of outreach diabetes clinics involving complex patients with multiple comorbidities, often occurring in a diverse and sometimes challenging environment, providing an immensely rewarding and unique experience.

You can contact Dr Elna Ellis, Consultant Endocrinologist by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.

Practising General Medicine in the Northern Territory is an exciting and challenging opportunity due to the young age of patients and the complexity of their co-morbidities, as well as the linguistic, psychosocial, and cultural circumstances.

Trainees have access to a variety of presentations in General Medicine as well as rotations through subspecialty areas not readily available to non-subspecialty trainees in larger centres, including senior trainee positions in Nephrology, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases, Intensive Care and Palliative Care.

You can contact Dr Stephen Brady, Director of Medicine by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.

The hospital has two accredited Advanced Trainee positions, and one non-accredited position (available to other RACP subspecialty trainees and trainees of other colleges, i.e. CICM) in Renal Medicine.

Renal medicine is one of the most fascinating areas of medical practice in the Territory. In addition to ward-based care the renal team provides a clinical service to a large geographical region across Central Australia. Registrars travel to Tennant Creek, Yuendumu and smaller communities to conduct clinics.

As well as an eight-bed dialysis unit within the hospital there are patients on home dialysis and two community satellite dialysis units in Alice Springs, and one in Tennant Creek, which a registrar and consultant visit regularly. There are also remote dialysis services.

Registrar clinics include a weekly chronic kidney disease clinic and transplant clinic, while trainees become skilled in vascular access techniques, renal biopsies, management of peritoneal dialysis catheters and fistulas. They are also involved in the weekly interventional nephrology session where the unit provides angiogram, angioplasty and fistuloplasty services. There is a strong education program both within the renal department and as part of the Department of Medicine teaching.

You can contact Dr Cherian Sajiv, Head of Renal Unit by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.

The hospital has one non-accredited Palliative Care Registrar position, generally filled by Advanced Trainees in General and Acute Care Medicine, but open to trainees from other specialties and colleges (e.g. GP/ACRRM, ICU etc.).  Approval for Accredited Advanced Training positions in Palliative Care is pending.

Once again, this is a sought-after term and trainees should enquire early.

Palliative Care in Central Australia is a distinctive training opportunity for palliative medicine, and the team has a passionate commitment to providing excellent palliative care to the widespread community. The majority of patients are Aboriginal, and many are traditional people from remote communities. The Palliative Care registrar is supported to provide culturally safe care and to understand the powerful social determinants of health in Central Australia.

There is a new 10-bed inpatient palliative care facility, as well as a strong and well integrated consultation service that supports timely referrals from inpatient teams. In addition to medical oncology, the team works with the general medical teams, renal services, Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit, and the retrievals team.

Alice Springs Hospital is linked with Tennant Creek Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospital, and has strong connections to Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre as tertiary referral centres and hosts visiting specialists from these hospitals.

The registrar positon involves community visits locally and to remote communities.  A rotation in Alice Springs is an unforgettable experience that will teach applicants clinical and communication skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their career.

You can contact Dr Christine Sanderson, Palliative Care Physician by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.


Obstetrics and gynaecology positions in CAHS


The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is a small, but busy, clinical unit at Alice Springs Hospital, with about 800 deliveries annually.

About 60 per cent of women delivering at the hospital are Aboriginal, however the delivery rates do not truly reflect the clinical workload. The case mix is varied and includes a high pre-term delivery rate and serious maternal morbidity with infectious diseases, diabetes mellitus, renal disease and rheumatic heart disease.

Doctors in training gain valuable clinical exposure to Aboriginal health issues and high risk medical obstetrics, as well as a first-hand experience of varied and specific challenges faced in providing health care to a diverse population.

Teaching

The department is a teaching unit for medical students from the Northern Territory Clinical School, affiliated with Flinders University of South Australia. The teaching program includes:

  • Once weekly education sessions on topics relevant to the Certificate of Women’s Health/ Diploma, or journal article review
  • Once weekly case presentations discussing perinatal morbidity
  • Quarterly perinatal mortality audits

Other specific learning opportunities are provided by:

  • A dedicated Early Pregnancy Clinic runs on a daily basis providing an opportunity in the first trimester to perform hands-on supervised ultrasound examinations, as well as gaining confidence in the counselling and management of complications. Trainee registrars rate this clinic highly in achieving its teaching goals.
  • Opportunity to learn basic obstetric ultrasound
  • Opportunity to learn colposcopy within the general gynaecology clinics
  • Outreach visits to Aboriginal community clinics and district hospitals complement the experience of understanding the challenges of health care in the NT.
  • Elective Gynaecology theatre session attendance provides an opportunity to both perform and assist in routine gynaecological surgery

Training

Alice Springs Hospital is currently accredited with the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for advanced training, but not basic Integrated Training Program (ITP) training.

Resident medical officer posts of three, six and 12 months are available for general experience in obstetrics and gynaecology and to pursue the Diploma, advanced Diploma, and Certificate of Women’s Health in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Contact

For further information email MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.


Paediatric positions in CAHS


The Paediatric Department includes inpatient care on a 30-bed paediatric ward, an eight-bed neonatal nursery, and outpatient and community outreach services.

There are about 1,500 paediatric ward admissions annually with the majority being Aboriginal, who are managed for a wide variety of illnesses, often specific to the low socioeconomic status and remoteness of local communities. Exposure to interesting and high acuity cases are frequent and managed locally due to the distance to the nearest referral centre.

Annually there are about 800 births at Alice Springs Hospital with approximately 250 admissions to the neonatal unit, with the department routinely accepting delivery of neonates of less than 30 weeks gestation. However due to remoteness there are a number of very low birthweight and extreme premature babies requiring management and retrieval.

Outpatient clinics are run every day at the dedicated paediatric outpatient unit, including general paediatric clinics and behavioural and developmental clinics. About 30 remote communities receive outreach paediatric visits.

Alice Springs Hospital allows specialised learning opportunities that are well supported by a senior team.

Training and Placement

There are currently eight paediatric registrar positions available, supervised by six full-time consultant positions.

The Paediatric Department is accredited by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) for Acute/Rural General Paediatrics for Advanced Trainees and has Basic Trainees rotating from Adelaide Women’s and Children Hospital for six months at a time.

There are two accredited Community/Developmental Paediatric positions, covering community outreach, neurodevelopmental diagnosis, child protection and out-of-home care.

Contact

For further information email MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au


Primary health care positions in CAHS

Primary Health Care Rural Medical Practitioners

Working as a doctor in primary health care offers flexibility, variety and opportunities to develop skills in chronic conditions, tropical health, prison health, remote health and Aboriginal health.

The medicine is incredibly diverse, complex and interesting with a prevalence of rheumatic heart disease, sepsis, chronic liver disease and chronic renal disease and diabetes in all age groups.

Doctors can experience living in a remote community or live in Alice Springs with weekly travel. Opportunities are available for general practitioners, rural generalists or as a doctor in training.

Generous packages are provided and will be discussed as part of the recruitment process. This includes relocation and accommodation support and various incentives. Flexible working arrangements include part time options such as one, two or three weeks per month.

For more information please contact:

  • the Central Australia and Barkly Medical Workforce Coordinator on (08) 8951 7754 or
  • the Rural Generalist Coordination Unit on (08) 8924 4150 or via email NTRuralGeneralistPathway@nt.gov.au

Rural generalist positions at Tennant Creek Hospital


Tennant Creek Hospital (TCH) is a 20-bed acute care hospital offering challenging remote work for medical practitioners. The hospital is located in Tennant Creek, about 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs, which has a population of more than 3,500 residents with a further 8,500 people living in the Barkly region.

The Emergency Department sees more than 10,500 patients annually with General and Paediatric wards caring for patients with short-term acute illness’ and injury, plus a nurse-run 17-chair renal dialysis unit. Patients requiring advanced care are transferred by road or by air to Alice Springs Hospital.

Registrar Positions

Registrar positions are available to applicants with a strong interest in Rural and Remote Health and a desire to become a Rural Generalist.

Training positions are through either the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), facilitated by the Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) - RACGP or ACRRM.

The hospital has modern videoconferencing facilities allowing networked medical education delivered by the Northern Territory (NT) Department of Health, Flinders University and other providers.

Specialist Positions

Specialist positions are available for Rural Generalists with Fellowship of either ACRRM or RACGP. Applicants must have rural or remote medical experience and ideally RACGP Fellows have completed their Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP). ‚Äč

To apply

To apply for a position at Tennant Creek with the Central Australia Health Service (CAHS) complete the following and email through to MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au

  • Application with three referees.
    • The Northern Territory (NT) Department of Health will contact the referees of all short-listed applicants.
  • Cover letter outlining your application, including:
    • why you want to work in the NT
    • any rural or remote experiences you have had
    • links to the NT (family, friends, etc.)
    • commitment to the NT.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV).

For more information

Medical Recruitment
Phone: +61 8 8951 7989
Mail: PO Box 2234, Alice Springs NT 0871
MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au


Surgery positions in CAHS


Alice Springs Hospital is a level two Trauma Centre and the General Surgical Department is fully accredited by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) for surgical training with two accredited surgical trainees, three pre-SET trainees and seven interns and junior medical officers.

The surgical department is affiliated with Flinders University and the Northern Territory Medical School for medical student training.

Alice Springs is one of the last frontiers of true broad spectrum general surgical centres, managing all general surgical traumas, including neuro and vascular surgical emergencies, and elective surgery encompassing all conditions, including oncology surgery.

The incidence of soft tissue infections and acute pancreatitis are very high. The hospital has the largest single-standing dialysis unit in the southern hemisphere with more than 400 patients on dialysis. The vascular access for haemodialysis is managed by the general surgical team along with a visiting vascular surgeon.

The surgical term gives extraordinary exposure to unique surgical conditions and the cultural background of Aboriginal people.

Contact

For further information email MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.